Saturday, December 22, 2007

Big Night On The Felt

Christmas tree birdie
a partridge and pear, no tree
sheep (my favourite!). Dry felting is my new chocolate.

I am so excited to have a camera. Almost a whole year has gone by without photo documentation. Beau is in for some In Yer Face camera action. And here are some very nice photos of the Christmas goodies I've been making into the wee hours of each morning. So much fun but Oh so sleep deprived. NEVER tackle overwhelming, overstimulating department stores whilst sleep deprived and hungry. I had a hypoglycemic meltdown until I inhaled three Nori rolls.

And here I am blogging when I should be taking the opportunity for a nap. These days it's a choice between crafting and sleeping.

Ooh and I bought knitting needles yesterday. See, working was just getting in the way of all this creativity.

Kevin Rudd eh. He ratifies the Kyoto Protocol (just, what, minutes after being instated??) and asks the US to do the same; he promises to say Sorry; he's already been to Iraq and back and promises to bring the lads home by June; he pledges to protect the Whales; prioritises climate change.....If he keeps up like this then he really is my Dream Prime Minister.

A safe and happy Christmas to you all xxx

Friday, December 21, 2007

Frockless Friday

Going into Crafting Lock Down. Last night a shepherd, a sheep, two felt brooches and a Christmas Stocking. Tonight a Donkey if I'm lucky! We bought ourselves a digital Camera for Christmas! Hooray! More pictures less talk.

Monday, December 17, 2007


Self portrait with Camel. Playing around with the Web cam to see if I can get a decent photo. Apparently not! I managed to nut out a pattern for the camel on my own, but have ordered a book so that I can make animals that do not resemble failed genetic experiments. Not too bad though and such is the way I work. I'm a little impatient when it comes to instructions and tend to have a crack at it alone. A few failed attempts usually lead to success (with some colourful language issued along the way and threats to terminate the lives of the tools involved). I am now however trying something new. Due to time restraints I am all for the blessed instructions put forth by those who have gone before us.

How my title photo squeezed itself into the title frame is a great mystery. Is someone logging into my blog and performing random acts of neatness?? Or do such things simply correct themselves over time? I WAS quite fond of the enormity of the tulip view!

I was going to do the 7 things about me meme after reading Soozs last post, and then I got carried away so to anyone who cares to read a long list of facts about me, go for it. It's mainly just to entertain myself at 1.35am (too many cups of tea).

1. I never forget to eat. Some people say 'I was so busy/tired/excited/depressed/broke/sick today I didn't eat'. I find this difficult to understand. Only in the midst of acute Gastro would I not think about or take measures to acquire my next meal/snack.

2. I speak Danish. I have a Danish name. I am not Danish.However I was married to a lovely Danish man when I was 25 and lived in Danmark at the time so I almost passed, except that now and then I would innocently use a word that was completely out of context and I was often thought to be a little odd by strangers. Therefore...

3. I am very patient with non English speaking people who so bravely attempt our difficult language (Danish very simple by comparison in my opinion).

4. I have lived in 31 different houses, in 6 different towns, in 3 different states, in 3 different countries in the last 29 years. I am now very eager to STOP MOVING and become a jam making, routine loving, family focused and firmly planted farmer's wife. (which means K will have to become a farmer because I am NOT getting married yet another time).

5. I am petrified of singing in public, especially my own songs, but when given the opportunity to public speak something else happens and I secretly (not any more) desire to be a stand up comedian, MC or chat show host...who is ...also a farmer's wife....

6. Despite being apparently restless and impulsive by nature, the requirements of motherhood to provide some level of consistency, responsibility, stability and clear guidance actually occur for me as a joy and a great relief. I do believe I may well have turned out to be rather more self indulgent were it not for Beau's grounding presence. This probably due to having Sun in Sagittarius and a Capricorn ascendant which on a good day can be great, and on another day be bloody confusing.

7. I have a very bad sense of smell. . I once stood in a kitchen with smoke spewing from a toaster and didn't noticed until I hung up and turned around. But strangely I will get a strong and real whiff of something when no one else around me can smell a thing.

8.Before Beau was born I used to swear too much. Especially the F word. I think it's lazy to swear so much. F*** it.

9. I birthed Beau at home in the water. He weighed 11lbs (5kg) at birth. As our second midwife arrived just before second stage, she announced that the baby she had just helped delivered at another home was 12 pounds. I;m glad she told me before we saw the size of Beau's head so that I could compare the task smaller to something! It was a wonderful birth, I loved every minute of it and I'll do it again.

10. I have an excellent memory. If I can see it or put a rhythm to it I can remember it. I have been useful in life as a walking telephone book/ diary/ jukebox.

11. I'm not a City Person. I am a Country Person living in the Suburbs, looking for the farm.

12. I love and feel deeply inspired by the Zen saying " Burn up like a good bonfire, everything you say or do, leave no trace'. It always takes my mind on an amazing journey and then to somewhere very still .

13. Despite how it often seems I am not that comfortable talking about myself . It seems to contradict the above wisdom, however I really love to hear about other people's lives and I do like to tell a story

14. So then I know that the burning up is about not carrying baggage from one moment to another and about coming to everything completely fresh; memories; daily chores; our loved ones; ourselves; everything.

Even the morning after only 5 hours sleep.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Frock on Friday well into Saturday

Not so excited by the colour but it's damn cute
Picnics and luncheons in this one dahhlings.

These are from Unique Vintage
Still looking for some other great Vintage clothing sites.This evening I spent a good deal of time trying to found out who designed the fabulous green shoes that Penelope Cruz wore in the beginning scenes of Volver!( and you were beginning to think I had a life). I should be sleeping given that I need sleep more than a pair of of shoes.

I bought myself a frock last weekend, can't really call it a frock, it's definitely a dress. Green silk. And I bought a green velvet dress/jacket, so gorgeous. Not vintage. Designed by Lyn Van Heyk, local designer of glorious feminine silk dresses, skirts, jackets. I feel self indulgent having bought myself new clothing (thanks to my sweet generous friends who pitched in for a birthday treat) as one does when one is a parent and all manner of other things take precedence over oneself. For the first time in so long I can't remember, I dressed to go out the other night WITHOUT a 'What the hell am I going to wear' Crisis in sight. K found it rather refreshing to say the least.

We are married four years today. We have been together for seven and a half years. We have lived in Melbourne for 6 years. And we have a three year old child. These are impressive figures to a Sagittarian who traditionally never had nor did anything for longer than 6 moths to a year. There must be enough planets in my chart keeping the Sag in me from wigging out again. I'm good with change. Getting better with consistency and routine which I've come to learn are the bedrock of parenthood. And there's enough spontaneity in that itself to keep me happy.

I have one more short shift at work tomorrow and then I am officially 'retired' from the organics trade. The precious folk who have kept me gainfully employed all this time 'sent me off' at our Christmas Do with a poem and a beautiful Matrushka doll. I feel honoured and loved and sad, and liberated by the smell of the winds of change.

K and I have been talking this evening about some of Beau's behaviour and reiterating how important we feel it is to support him through it, not try to change him but hold him and guide him and continue to show him the consequences of his actions in the simplest way possible. We trust that like all kids he will learn empathy with time. We acknowledge that it's mostly about dealing with our own feelings and fears anyway. At the park the other day I actually felt shame and fear, not for Beau but for myself and sometimes that is the only difficult part of the situation. Kids get over stuff so quickly where as we adults can stew over something for an eternity e.g. my third post about the subject in a week!

Moving right along. I answered a phone call an hour ago from three friends I haven't seen for almost 20 years. Two of them live in Melbourne and the other in Sydney. These are people with whom I have had enormous amounts of fun. We sound the same and have the same sense of humour, and yet so much has happened we are different people entirely. That's the aging process I suppose isn't it. I bemusedly watch the obvious changes on the outside, sense the subtle changes on the inside and yet I feel the same as I did at 30, 20, 15......which leads me to think of wonderful teachings that talk about the 'enlightened' 'I' that never changes, that hasn't been created nor can it die. They talk about it being the pure awareness that is always present throughout every experience, thought, action. The sense of self beyond the ego that is familiar. And probably if I tapped into that part of my self a bit more I wouldn't feel the need to sit here past midnight Googling Raimunda's shoes. I would remember that I have a camel to make. I would go to bed so that I can function in the new day ahead. And yea verily all would be well. Good night.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Bicycle Love and

It's been 7 months since we gave up our car for bikes and public transport and it has it's joys and annoyances, but mostly I love it - the immediacy of just getting on the bike and feeling free and unencumbered and Beau loves riding on the back singing and pointing out all the sights. I've started noticing the bikes people ride and appreciating things like the Sartorialist's bicycle category - I never really thought much about bikes and fashion, but now that I've been riding for a while I've had visions of myself upon a pink Swedish Kronan
bike (above). A friend has a similar step through retro bike waiting for me to look at -apparently it is black with flowers all over it, pink mud guards and white handle grips. Now there's an excuse to parade new summer frocks. Strictly for mama though.

We went to the city today to see the Myer Christmas Windows along with every other parent and child in Melbourne it would seem, then later to the park to let the kids work off some stimulation. There was a bit of an incident with Beau and some other kids next to a swing - resulted in Beau attempting a face grab and a bite which I managed to intercept. The mother of the little girl who's face Beau attempted to grab sent me some very very dark looks from her bench and I found it very unnerving and wished that I had said something to her - felt like I needed to explain to her what the experience is like for me and Beau, which may have been very helpful. I notice how while I feel protective towards other children and try to prevent Beau from reacting in such a way, I also so feel very protective of him. As adults we sometimes forget that kids can't be expected to control themselves especially when they are tired and hungry and over stimulated and challenged by other kids. I have to remind myself too that it takes time to learn that skill and it's more a case of me needing to read the signs in Beau and change the environment rather than change his behaviour when things have already gone too far. I think today affected me because it's been so long since Beau has done anything like it. I 'm sure this time around it's a lot to do with him resisting nap time (which I always encourage) and then finding it hard to cope in the afternoon because he's actually really tired. Some days our wee ones are more robust than other days, just like their parents. Today I was robust enough not to walk away in tears. It's happened many times though. A mixture of so many emotions. That Beau has often been misunderstood by other parents, has particularly been hard. That I'm supposed to know exactly what to do all the time, and to satisfy other parents' varied expectations is also very hard. It brings up some of my own childhood sadness and so the challenge has been big and also very rewarding because I am learning to trust my myself, my intuition and my parenting, and to trust in impermanence.
There is nothing I would change about Beau. That kind of love feels cleansing, enormous; I can't even say I can be so unconditional with K, though it's my intention and being a mother definitely helps bring that possibility closer. K and I have found real unity as parents together, something we've experienced on many levels and not at all on others. I often wonder how I/we would be if Beau wasn't in our lives. Little monkey.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Craft Goodies

Goody goody this pile of joy arrived yesterday from here.
Web cam cannot do justice to the colour of anything and I can only snap what can be brought up to the computer desk, but at least we now have pictures in this story. Camera but a month away.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Blanket Stitch my world

The beautiful babe went to sleep early and so here I sit joyously, indulgently crafting the night away - making soft trees (see dodgey web cam photo above) thanks to Suse's lead, out of glorious felt, hand stitching and thinking about how many periods in my life I've found myself huddled in the light hand stitching something in a state of meditative bliss. Now with a renewed creative surge; four years ago when I recycled children's clothing and hand stitched felt motifs on everything; and ten years ago at art school when I hand stitched little tissue paper mache shellacked squares into cubes - 480 squares making 80 cubes (people thought I'd gone batty "It's Process Art man") . Each time I sit down with needle in hand I think about my grandmother who embroidered and crotched prolifically. I never knew her as she died when I was under two years old but I feel a connection to her in this way. I vaguely remember my mum swearing at her Singer so I guess the gene must have skipped a generation. Mum had her own thing going on flying light aircraft (THAT gene may well come back through my children, not me!)
So yeah soft trees, what a delight, for the nativity set growing on the mantle. I passed up K's corporate Christmas Do for a Night On the Felt. We have my Work Do tomorrow night and one a weekend is simply enough for me. Did I mention that I've resigned from my job and have but one more week of 4.30am starts and lifting boxes and standing on my feet but sadly simultaneously only one more week of hanging out with wonderful co workers/friends/employers and customers, good food, stimulating adult conversation (the lack of which could be my undoing!) and daily dose of belly laughing. Truly a fabulous job for so many reasons but so often has me exhausted and dreaming of more time with Beau and K and allowing room to reorganise our family routine to provide more time together in general. With neither mortgage nor debts (can I just say the latter one more time.'nor debts' ahh the sweetness of it) there is much potential in this change. We are regularly found drooling over country real estate these days, just to keep our sights on the ultimate goal.
Back to soft trees and Grant Lee Phillips (of Buffalo). Listening to his Nineteen Eighties Cover album which, if like me you were molded by that decade, will bring you much joy and perhaps even a sentimental tear. Great covers like Under The Milky Way Tonight, Love My Way, Boys Don't Cry, Wave of Mutilation and other gems.

Have a wonderful weekend y'all

Friday, December 7, 2007

Return of Chucky

After months of being able to relax with Beau in the presence of other children, all of a sudden the behaviour that had been so challenging for a year and a half has made a come back, which leaves us somewhat bewildered and also quite sad. It may be short lived but it's awful to see your beloved child launch an unprovoked attack on another child's face. Two days running Beau has walked up to a child (the same one actually) and grabbed her by the face leaving a little graze. And he went straight back for another go after being calmly but firmly told how unacceptable it was . We have always gone by the observation that at such times he needs to calm down and that he is well and truly over play time. Beau is actually a very relaxed little guy and can play for hours on his own with great focus. He is prone lately to neediness especially around me and often seems to find visitors and groups of people and kids really unsettling. The last few months have shown his very social side and he has really enjoyed the company of other kids. K and I have been checking in with each other as to what might be going on with us that might have Beau act out again in this way. But when we think about all the kids we know/families we know and all their varied circumstances there are no real consistencies that would explain it. It's very easy to over intellectualise our kids' behaviour I think, given that we are adults and naturally our first tendency is to think from an adult point of view. Often we look at Beau and marvel at how he and children in general just do and say whatever comes to mind, they are that pure and spontaneous and emotional. I guess Beau just has this particular energy that we will have to guide him through and help him find ways to manage it so that he can play alongside other kids. And I guess he will grow out of it. It definitely helps that he can verbally express himself well now and that he understands our simple explanations. It may just take a while for him to learn to control himself and I mean really a three year old can't be expected to do that when half the adults of this world can't control themselves either. Ah dear. Just thrashing it all out here and hoping some of you might have had similar experiences. Always good to hear we are not alone.
I must also say more importantly that Beau is particularly cute and funny and loving and musical and just generally all round fabulous to be with these days. Isn't it just the most miraculous moment when you realise you are having a conversation with your wee one - a little insight into their amazing minds.

Frock on Friday

Every girl needs a black dress but sometimes I feel like I'm in mourning. I think this would do the trick.
I know it's not a dress but I love it and it's the closest thing to a Bikini you would ever get me into! I'd even go the sandals at the pool!
Love polka dots.

Never been big on yellow but this is cute.
Yellow again! Love it with all that lace! I would wear it to a dimly lit jazz bar and slink my way on stage for a standard or two.

is where I found these treasures, so much vintage goodness in this world.

I'm on the hunt for a frock this weekend. 'Tis the time to Frock-on, Christmas Do's and all coming up. I hope you are all enjoying frocking up for the season, even if it's just to decorate the tree.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Felt friends needed!

I say can anyone help me? I'm wanting to make stuffed felt animals for a little nativity set for Beau, a camel, a donkey, a sheep, and anything else that might be applicable. Do any of you have patterns you'd like to share? I'm going to try to make a template tonight but I'd love a head start! Last year I made felt stars and birds for the tree which are simple and cute and I can post the patterns for those should anyone wish!

Check out this great site for making snowflakes. I know they're not exactly Australiana Christmas but they are wonderful nonetheless and don't we all deep down dream of a White Christmas?

My 40th was really fun, not a grand event but spent with good friends, good food and later in the evening good music. We had a sumptuous breakfast at home and in the evening a few of us went dancing. It has been a very long time since any of us went dancing. It was FUN! Everything still works and I awoke the next morning with the lightness of heart and relaxed body that I remember from my dancing days of youth. Even my seemingly unfixable rib has come good from a good dose of hip shaking and arm flinging (well it's not as much fun if you don't dance like a fool!).

Yesterday I gave notice at work. I stood by the phone for some time unsure of my decision because truly it's a fantastic job with fantastic people and I will miss seeing them three times a week. However I feel like I've done such a good thing for myself. this change that is upon us is way over due and with me not working we free up time and space to have more family time and more sleep and the possibility of K finding a new job. He has hung in there for a year at least now much to his credit, and now it's time to move on to something stimulating, better paid and closer to home. He's an amazing man K, who has wisdom and skills that even on a small scale are helping and inspiring people. He finds it hard to know exactly where or how to focus them and I hope he finds what is closest to his heart. I look forward to putting more time into Beau and our shared creativity, and to choir - I want to arrange songs and maybe even write one. And of course there is the second baby who is fluttering in the ethers around my ears whispering 'Mummy mummy, come ON' .

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Frock on Friday

50's Gucci print dress
50's Malcolm Star dress (almost Doris Day depending on how far one unbuttons...)
60's blue green cocktail dress
70's I'll-Just-Slip-Into-Something-More-Comfortable-Norma Kamali Dress

All this frock glory from poshgirlvintage
They make me wanna sew.
Oh bugger it they make me wish I had a big fat credit card.

40 tomorrow! See you on the Other Side.

Monday, November 26, 2007

New Year's Resolutions

Never was big on making NYR's but find myself thinking about all the things I'd like to do/change seeing as CHANGE is the catch word around here at the moment. May as well get a head start....let's see, I'd like to
  1. take up Spanish again (so I can indulge in Almodovar without having to squint at the subtitles)
  2. clear out my wardrobe and wear only frocks
  3. make a doll for Beau
  4. do yoga
  5. kiss my husband more often
  6. knit
  7. finish Tara
  8. more craft with Beau
  9. Go to the cinema (haven't been for 3 years!!!! Aaaaaghhhhhh)
  10. take lots and lots of photos
  11. visit Rinpoche in Tuscany
  12. have another baby (which highlights the need to make the most of 9. and prioritise 5. be VERY open minded about 2. and kiss 1. 7. and 11. goodbye for another 3 years if they haven't been accomplised by this point..)
A further word on frocks. I love frocks. I would wear them exclusively if I had the time and funds to seek them out (and glory be I may well have both come the new year!). Note to self and to anyone who cares to join me - Frock on Friday excuse to Screen (as opposed to Window) Shop if nothing frocks, other people's frocks, designer frocks, old frocks and new.....
I also love the designs by Pelle - find them at mioke. Scroll down and select sewing then scroll up and select pelle.
We used to have Frock on Fridays back in the Feral late 90's (feral for me anyway, I can't speak for you) - everyone joined in, even my dog now and then. My taste in frocks has changed since then. Now my frocks need to be clean and in tact but I've always loved a vintage frock especially the 50's and 70's variety.

Until Friday then....

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Greener Pastures

Well. What a great week. We sold our house before auction at the right price with a good settlement. Huge relief. And a new government. With Bob Brown at last winning a seat in Senate, by primary vote thanks very much! HUGE relief. I personally feel that only good things can come of that!
We have sorted out the hows and wherefores of moving into our friend's house in January. The timing has been perfect and the move looks to be easy given that we can just store our minimal possessions and move into a gorgeous furnished house. I've never been very good at holding onto things. I get very excited about culling everything down to the basics when there's a move afoot. Probably because I/we have moved so many times in the last 20 years individually and as a couple/family. I had everything I needed at one point just after mum died. I got rid of it all to go off on a feral romp around the country free of material encumbrances and it seems I've been unable to hold fast to such things since. Which is quite amusing given that I have a HUGE fetish for Inside Out magazine and daydream about our own oasis in the country where we live happily ever after. It is time to put down roots. There'll always be the need to get up and go somewhere but I strongly feel the need for home and community and familiarity. And a sense of creativity being expressed through living in and knowing a place intimately. I've accepted that we have realistically given up our chance of owning a house in the city. Which is OK. Happy to rent and even happier to start a life in the country.
K and I really REALLY need to reconnect and save our relationship which has hung together on a thin thread for a year and a half. For the first time ever I've found myself imagining life as a single parent which is how I've mostly felt (trite as that may sound to a single parent). It's easier to imagine no relationship over a dysfunctional one. Our differences are more pronounced than ever and we've become so habituated to managing without each other that I wonder sometimes if it wasn't for the beautiful Beau would we still be together but then it's partly due to the changes brought by parenthood that our relationship has changed so dramatically. Was a time when I would just get up and leave a place or a relationship or a job or whatever, if the joy had gone out of it. I'm pretty good at moving on and starting again. But that gets to be very exhausting, and repetitive. Same shit, different scenario. And motherhood has shown me those parts of self that keep me more connected, like true patience and compassion and determination and forbearance and deep unconditional love . It would be pointless if those things didn't filter out into the rest of life. The wee ones are teaching us how to love and to Stick It Out.
So many photo worthy moments of late. If we could only download the contents of our minds something like Dumbledore's Pensieve. I look forward to buying a camera and putting images with words. I could talk and write all day but jeeze how boring for us all. I love seeing all your pictures - how you all look at the world and what you make and where you live. Soon I will have lots more to share and if all goes accordingly more time for craft and baking and adventures.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Loooooooooooonnnng Day

Oh mama, up since 5am worked, came home to willful child testing every boundary refused afternoon nap which is my saviour we got through it somehow (I don't even drink coffee....maybe I'll start again) K came home we exchanged grunts I felt the need to suck my thumb and go straight to bed had to vacate house while people inspected came home made dinner Beau refused to go to sleep K tried and tried and gave up Beau danced beneath the moon I collapsed on bed Beau came in later grabbed a boob allowed the application of a nappy turned over put his nose on mine and fell asleep. Now I am catharting here with a mouth full of ulcers again preventing me from drowning my sorrows in a cheap glass of wine. Ah me. Just as well I love that little guy more than anything on this earth and beyond. Just as well we love them like that. I did scream into my pillow which gave some relief. It was a scream for the loss of Time To Myself and the shadow of guilt that is always there for the wanting of that time. Motherhood is a large and mysterious and heart opening thing. A mother can withstand an entire day of stuff that will have another person abandoning in minutes. Always at the end the end of such a day I am reminded by Beau himself to let go of the struggle. The more tired and strung out I am the more I struggle and the harder it is. As soon as K gave it up and let Beau frollick in the fading light he was already on his way back to bed. Such is the way.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


The beautiful image of tulips was taken by my friend Susie at the Tulip Festival in the Dandenongs. Hiding from the wind and still laid back with this flu/virus thing that has withstood a barrage of therapies alternative and non. I feel exhausted and have gone through feeling quite depressed because I haven't the energy to just be my normal functional self . I have a new respect and compassion for anyone living with a chronic illness. We have a good friend staying with us who has come in like an angel and taken up the slack - that kind of support is golden, and I wish it for everyone when they are in need. Looking forward to feeling well and happy and energetic, and to long warm nights outdoors. Watch out for flying branches and watch Breakfast on Pluto.

Hmmm I must learn how to size title image correctly!!!!

Saturday, October 13, 2007


My boys have gone off with a freind to the Steiner Kinder fair, leaving me here in bed to have a morning 's recouperation. I'm listening to this which I found through Amanda. Sigor Ros' music is so sweeping and emotive and otherworldly and has the same effect on me as the Cocteau Twins did throughout the 80's and 90's (and still now) - lifts me up into the ethers and bouyantly carries me to other realms....wonderful. This particular clip always has me in tears by the end - you will see what I mean. They capture the joy and the wonder and the fearlessness of childhood.
I just got off the phone talking with a very dear friend who is currently living a gypsy life of sorts, travelling around with his caravan, meditating, and about to head to India for the first time. He has all his time to himself as one does when one has no partner or family, and i always love hearing about his travels and his discoveries within and without. He has had an enormous year - a death, the breakdown of a realtionship, the emergence of personal demons.....Where am I going with this? I think because I have a day to myself I'm reflecting that time for self, brief though it is, as being precious and necessary. We have such big change upon us and the potential for a completely different life. We could buy a van and travel around the country. We could buy tickets to Europe and go and see Rinpoche next year. We could move to a different state and live in the country. I haven't really had time to contemplate it all, whcih is in some ways a good thing because it helps to focus on what needs to be done now, but I'm finding today, a sense of excitement as to what might be in store. I would like to leave my job and go back to a more creative way of generating income. A few years ago I had a small business recycling and dyeing children's clothing. Lately I've been having visions of rebirthing it and working from home again; especially as we are planning to have another baby. If we really are to homeschool, then we need to consider how we survive financially in a way that gives us time at home.

OUr beautiful boy. What a huge leap from two to three! The emergence of imaginative play and the ability to have a conversation; the joy he experiences now at being with other children and how far we've come from Days of Chucky (biting). Beau absolutely loves dresses. The more colourful and eloborate the better. His favourite is a little green 'fairy dress' that he must sleep in, dance in, and very pedantically cross the threshold from porch to entry hall in. He also loves shoes. Will do anything to try on a pair of shoes. I love it. I want to go out and gather the biggest dress up collection I possibly can. Boas, hats, tutus, jackets, masks.....and some for Beau too ;D

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Not drowning, waving

Drowning in snot. My little boy and I like his father before us and countless others we know. This shall be known as the Spring of the Great Snot. Weeks and weeks of it and then a fresh bout of what feels like heavy bronchitis. A week at home sick alone with a sick child....VERY testing, and here I am now taking a moment on day two of Beau refusing midday nap and both of us dragging our sorry butts around the house - Beau asked for Little Mowgli Movie (Jungle Book 2). It's so cute I cannot tell you and I said no no no until my need for time out and his need for chill out became too obvious. He's sitting so still on the couch with the most heavenly smile upon his face and every now and then looks over at me and repeats his favourite bits with a chuckle. For so long I resisted letting Beau watch anything. K and I don't watch TV, just DVDs now and then, and we hoped to keep Beau from the Box for as long as possible but well, there's no denying that as a family without extended family, in times of need a DVD of wise choice is a bloody Godsend. Granted Beau has only ever seen 3 movies, Mary Poppins, and Jungle Book 1 and 2 and maybe watched Playschool 3 times in total.

The sale of the house is going ahead, auction booked, inspection days penciled in and a weekend of hard yakka ahead to prepare for photos next Wednesday. It's all going very fast which will probably prove to be a blessing. Ironically of course the more we do to clean up the place and prepare for sale, the lovelier it feels to me. Ah dear. How difficult it is to be a human being sometimes, with all these desires and attachments. Thankfully the Universe (be it that to which we may credit our fate) has thrown out the life boat in the form of supportive friends, a place to rent for half a year and what we are told is a seller's market so we will come out of this OK. And that will be the biggest breath of fresh air I could imagine. There have been so many times this last year and a half where we have not felt OK. Just as well there's much more to life than owning a home (which we probably will do at some point again anyway). At last we are coming back to a place of freedom, in our minds more than anything, and flexibility. The tight chord around our life is loosening and finally, teetering at the edge of 40, I may just be about to live the country life I've dreamed of. If I can just hold my nose and jump in......

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bare and achin' Bones

Such a perfect Melbourne Spring afternoon I should be out fluffing in the garden and I may well do so after I post this. I'm in post-osteopathic treatment la la land wherein some long abiding aches and pains are starting to ease away - quite lovely. My boys are sleeping - big one has flu, little one worn out after a lovely play with a sweet friend. I'm feeling somewhat blue as events of our life in the last year have come to a point where we may have to sell our little house and start afresh. There are two sides to this coin obviously. On the shiny happy side we will come away from this place debt free with the possibility of buying a little place in the country and simplifying our life style greatly. On the other side I am sad to think that what we have created here and what is possible here will end . When I put the words down, and read them back really the benefits far out way any losses but I guess it's just that sense of home and community that I finally am starting to feel here that I will miss even though I know us to be perfectly capable of establishing these things elsewhere. There's nothing like being on the verge of leaving something to make you realise how much you appreciate it! Somewhere in it all is the allure of the Australian Dream and when I go into that and really think about it I do sense a change for the better. We really have been struggling this year sometimes even for food and for what? To carve ourselves a piece of suburban life that is increasingly more challenging to sustain. The cost of living keeps increasing, as do interest rates and we all seem to be getting ourselves further into debt to keep up or looking down the barrel of working hours that completely wipe out any family-centred life.
I am staying open to the belief that anything can happen and that if we are prepared to do whatever is necessary and without fretting we will be present enough to see opportunities coming our way - maybe new jobs that allow us flexibility and pay us well and keep us fed creatively, support from places we never thought of, the perfect piece of advice, a block of land in the country that meets all our self-sufficiency requirements and the friends to retreat there with....Whether we stay here or go There it will be because all conditions were right.

But still I'm going to let myself be a little sad and go and sit out back and day dream about where we would put a chook run and a sand pit . And maybe eat that block of Black and Gold Mayan orange chocolate that I've been resisting because apparently sugar can revert a newly adjusted skeleton back to scrambled state. Maybe just one piece.....or two.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The Rain Cometh the Flu Leaveth

Suburban Centre for Dust Collection and High Density Traffic (above) or World's Smallest Bathroom. Where in fact is the bath? Behind door #1. Door #2 leads to back yard. Of course, how logical. Two doors are very necessary in World's Smallest Bathroom so that when you are feeling COMPLETELY CLAUSTROPHOBIC YOU CAN GET THE **** OUT OF THERE....
Gone are the days of luxury bathing and obviously not just because of the water problem.
I'm a DIY renovator wannabe but plumbing isn't my area.

Oh bring it on bring it on bring it ON!!! That rain is possibly the best sound I could imagine. Except the part that reminds me that litres of precious water are splashing from an area of gutter overhead.....

Recovering from the worst dose of flu I've experience for a great ,many years. Only two whole days in bed but should really have been three or four (and the whole thing has spent weeks incubating within me via throat tickles, headaches and, fatigue) so here I am with a decent cough, and the hope that it hibernates tomorrow night during choir during which I will conduct not sing and hopefully not be reduced to the likes of an air traffic controller......

Hope your Veges are singing out there in the wet earth.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

And to all of you who have been struck by the flu of late I comiserate! I sit in bed with lap top (thanks Martino for I am now saved from a day of total boredom!) and sun streaming in to bedroom and all is quiet. I don't think I have been this sick for a long time. Do you agree that sometimes as a mother one simply refuses to fall ill because someone has to keep It All together? K is wonderful though he has missed out on the cleaning gene so if I venture out there into the rest of the house I am faced with days of mess. So I will sit here in the boudoire and hide and hope that at some point in the day the mess will disappear. I'm only a very tiny bit analy retentive about cleanliness when it's particularly warm or I am ill.

Beau and K are off on a Ceres adventure. Precious boy time giving me precious me time. I would rather be out in the sun with them but this here is rare. We were to have a garage sale today but will wait until next week. Time for a good ol' spring clean. Time to pull up the last of the blue (yesss) carpet and go forth and buy mulch and seedlings. Time to fill up the sand pit and plant nasturtium seeds, to air the dynes and try making bread again (first attempt failed due to lack of warmth for rising).

May all your winter lurgies be long behind you and may spring find you light and energetic and full of creativity.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Way Way Way Past Bedtime

Just trying to cram yet another thing in before resting this weary body. K came home with library books about home schooling today. So parallel with my own feelings about education and family life and so inspiring in general they are that I read almost two of them by the fire this evening. They have successfully dispelled any concerns for me regarding time and energy restraints by pointing out that homeschooling , especially on an informal level takes much less time up of a day because of the intensive nature of one on one education; because 'lessons' are integrated into daily life and the daily routine and because the child can learn at his/her own pace, in blocks if they wish...AND as a parent one gets to learn things alongside one's children therefore eliminating another of my queries as to how much stuff do K and I have to know before we embark on this journey?? I feel excited and inspired as if (and as I suppose I actually have) finally discovered my true vocation. I feel passionate and energised and admittedly a little daunted by what may potentially be a barrage of questions and confrontation from a large sector of the community and possible even close friends (for I have detected a hint already during brief conversations with people on the subject). As with all areas of parenting it can be so confronting (in my own experience) when someone chooses to do something very differently from ourselves and from the mainstream because we are forced to question our own decisions and motivations. Which surely is a good thing. Lately I just feel more than ever that almost everything we do in the world we do with little to no questioning. Social, economic and political habits and requirements and expectations become the norm and because we see most people around us doing the same things we carry on trying to keep up. I do not suppose to have the all the answers or a better way of living, I think what has happened for K and I is that three aspects of our life have steered us further toward alternative ways of living - financial difficulty (which was partly the impetus for us giving up the car, and for exploring alternative ways of surviving and socialising); Beau's now thankfully infrequent biting which had us look more deeply into our parenting and our unconscious attitudes around control and freedom and staying true our most heart felt intentions; and underlying all of it our ongoing inner inquiry and observation and attempts to integrate (until someone discovers that the only obstacle to enlightenment is a mineral deficiency...) God/Buddha/ All That Is/ The State of Pure Presence or whatever you may choose to call It, with the activities of daily life. (hmm no wonder we are tired.) And we suspect that maybe just maybe there are other ways to do this Human Being in The World thing that are more simple, more relaxed, more embracing of others' needs, more sustainable and more fun and require a lot less funds.
If you have the answers don't hesitate to illustrate them in clear point form and don't skimp on pictures - we must have proof!
PS Happy Spring everyone Yippee!!!!!!!!!!!!! Apparently our computer doesn't realise we've moved on from winter. It's SO An Hour and a Half Ago!

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Just imagine it.

Had I a camera I would have taken photos of the numerous culinary delights I created this weekend like a regular domestic goddess. Despite fighting off a bug and feeling a bit weary, I just had the urge to bake, and cook and use up a fridge full of veges. A friend gave me organic double cream and a jar of organic marscapone which obviously necessitated the making of cake. Yesterday I made cauliflower and potato soup, flourless orange/almond cake, and pear compote which I've used today to make banana and pear muffins. I finally got around to making my own sourdough leaven which is proofing as I speak and seems to be doing what it should be doing, ie frothing up nicely with a slight beery smell. So tomorrow I will make my first ever rye sour dough loaf! Never thought dough would get me so excited but there we have it.
We have been cleaning up our front and back gardens and shed in honour of the glorious weather promising spring. Slowly but surely our garden is becoming a lovely place to hang out and hopefully we'll have a little pergola with shade cloth and a baby grape vine before the heat of summer hits.
Next thing to do is mend and adjust the funky frocks hanging on the study door, ooh I can't wait to get into those. Unless of course I am pregnant by the time the weather warms up - that would be both wonderful and disturbing given that all winter I've been rotating the same three outfits without too much complaint knowing that frocks are awaiting!
A wonderful musical discovery today - well music recommended by a friend - a six CD anthology of American Folk Music recorded in the late 50's.(thanks Mike for keeping us well fed in the music department, and you too Martin while I'm at it) Apparently Bob Dylan 'borrowed' the exact anthology from a friend prior to his rise to fame. You can hear the influences so clearly. There's such a mix of spirit and joy and darkness in those songs. Makes me want to pick up my guitar more often and sing whatever is in there. It's so easy to not do it. And yet lately each time I've played and sang for a few hours of an evening I've spent the following day feeling like I've had some profound spiritual cleansing!! Why wouldn't a person want to experience that more often and just say 'bugger the dishes'.....
Beau's perfect joy right now? A simple Ikea train set that he bought with the coins in his money box. He clutched it to his chest in quiet satisfaction all the way home and hasn't stopped playing with it since.

Friday, August 24, 2007

All Things White and Airy

This is our kitchen (above) in need of a paint job!

I am reliving a love affair with all things Scandinavian - especially the white walls, white floor boards, quirky and hyggeligt (means cosy but of those untranslatables) with beautiful fabrics and textures and interesting found and designed objects/furniture. They just have a way that I think, having lived in Denmark for two and a half years, has a lot to do with spending a good deal of time indoors due to long, dark winters and therefore needing to make the inner environment light and airy and beautiful to be in for hours on end. In considering what to do with our little semi detached Melbourne house, I keep going back to this idea. Essentially our house is full of light with big windows and I can see it glowing and feeling spacious with a white paint job and colourful bits all around. You can see more photos of Mettes gorgeous apartment (the other two photos above are of her place) on her blog which is full of other beautiful things including her children's clothing and pottery. It seems Mette lives not far from Arhus where I lived. It was an interesting time for me, learning the language, getting married, rushing home to be with my mother as she died, marriage ending not long after and I haven't been back since. Feels like another life entirely now. But I would go back in a second to see everyone, being on good terms with my ex and felling like there is still a connection to the place.

Monday, August 20, 2007

All together now

K and I have been together for 7 years today. This day marks the day when we 'knew' we were going to be together. Lismore Northern New South Wales. The Winsome Hotel. A synchronistic meeting, an exchange of phone numbers and a quick kiss that felt like much much more!

Just came back from a great choir practice. They are wonderful people, fun and easy going and sing beautifully and it's such a pleasure to stand in front of them and hear the songs. I've never lead a choir before now and it is teaching me so much - bringing me back to music in a much more community-minded way; expanding my appreciation of musical genres and teaching me to be humble and assertive. I've had so much fear around music since I was a teenager and first declared to my desperately unhappy mother that I wanted to sing. She couldn't hear it because she had so many unfulfilled dreams of her own and so I guess took on a certain guilt around the dreaming and the hours spent teaching myself to play and compose.
My father has rediscovered his own voice in the last 6 years and sings in a choir in WA. It's so good to connect with him on that level and listen to him talk from his heart about his love of singing. It doesn't matter how old we are, it's never too late to do these things.

Beau and I rode to our friends' house around the corner this morning in the winter sun, that glorious first hint of a spring not too far away. Seeing Beau walk freely around the park lands has me yearning to get to the country. He would truly be in heaven living on acreage (as would K and I) with lots of animals about and lots of great jobs to do outside. We spent all Saturday in the garden, mulching and clearing rubbish and relocating the chickens and Beau always wants to help. He helps cook and clean and fix and dig and fetch and push.....they love it the little ones, to just do whatever it is we are doing. I feel like we could get rid of all the toys and there are still a hundred things to do.

Sunday evening we had our forth Co op collection. Lots of families coming through the house of our friends up the road. Lots of kids, lots of chatter, lots of helping hands and LOADS of really good food being sorted and weighed and bagged and bottled....So many other ideas are growing from our co op. Craft group, recipe book, sustainability (which is where it started really) bartering, working's a dream come true and it makes life in the suburbs a whole lot more exciting.

(Something weird is happening with the time down the bottom of each post. Believe me it is not 4.30am as I write this!!)

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Not long home from craft night, a monthly occurrence now and so very fun and good and a long time coming. I'm making a string of felt birds for Beau's bedside - following projects will be a doll for Beau and to learn to knit. I rode my bike, glorious to weave through the back streets and felt free despite the burning in my lungs and thighs on those hills.
It's late and the small blonde alarm will wake me at an ungodly hour but I will sit awhile yet and read some more of Cold Mountain -wonderful if you are in the mood for journeying against horrendous odds and wayfaring strangers and women working the land at a time when women didn't work land they sketched and played piano.....most likely you have seen the movie which in its own right was quite good and if you agree then you must read the book. Charles Frazier is the author. I do love a good journey, hence I loved Cormac McCarthy's novels. It's such a luxury these days to have a book that engrosses me enough to have me stop cleaning while Beau sleeps of an afternoon and sit by the window and read. It's always been that a book has had to grip me within the first page otherwise I wouldn't go any further. Nowadays I give them a little more time. I have author binges, for example I'll read four Isabelle Allende novels and then 3 Gabriel Garcia Marquez and two Cormac McCarthy etc etc. I'll be needing a new book soon. Any recommendations???

Sunday, August 5, 2007


Now and then something comes along that just totally blows one's mind yes??? I found this through Camilla Engman's wonderful blog (her art work too, is amazing). Some people just have that touch. I love it.

Friday, August 3, 2007

A Picture

Yeah I know it's not very lady like but it shows two facts about me; 1) I absolutely love to feed my face and 2) I have a tendency towards the ridiculous whenever someone points a camera at me so in terms of self portraits it's really quite revealing. There's a hint of a fear of narcissism as I post these - and then I reflect upon the comfort of knowing something of other bloggers' lives and identities and how being a bit more transparent in life can be a beautiful thing.

The day of our wedding above. Dec 2003. One of my favourite wedding shots next to the one of K and I pulling 'sharkies' which I don't seem to have on my hard drive but will post it because it's very fetching.

So given that I have no new pictures to post, here are some 'old' ones. As I said I personally can't digest endless paragraphs of text (unless I'm reading a novel) without the relief of pictures to break it up, so these are for you if you a similar........

Mental note ; must ask K to show me how to get photos off my phone.

I must go to work. This is the time of day when the last thing I want to do is to go to work. What I want to do at 3.30pm is to have a cup of tea, eat some cake, enjoy Beau's scruffy , woozy emerging from dream land, and await K's arrival home and avoid venturing outside into the cold wind. (Love the cold, can't do wind). Just as well my job is not at all like a job but more like doing some chores with good friends.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Bad Blogger Bids For Second Babe

Oh hell, really I can't sit around waiting for a camera before I get it together to write a post.......I was never one in favour of too much text and not enough pictures. And I've been experiencing the same desperate grasping of time as Soozs and Janet - squeezing Other Stuff (which sadly even includes a conversation with K at the moment) in amidst the routine. I did manage to organise a craft night at home last Thursday with a few very lovely friends and their knitting needles and biscuits. THAT felt damn good I must say - something I've long wanted to happen and again if I wait for the Right Time it ain't never gonna happen. A bit like having a baby, or going out on a girl's date with my friend Bridget, or finishing this painting (overcome with guilt sigh...). I took one look at Soozs' pictures of the Winterwood store and immediately went into deep Craft Envy. I love felt. I love it. I especially love it all rolled up in splendid colours like that. I have ordered many things from the store via mail but still never set foot in there. Craft night once a month will surely give me renewed reason to buy more felt AND to learn to knit! I know gods it's sad isn't it. I don't know how and I know once I start there'll be no stopping the wool, the hours of meditative click, click, the glorious things I shall make....Where do I start? Can I take a knitting pill? Help!!!

Beau is getting four molars all at once which has brought forth not surprisingly a host of behaviours that usually occurs whenever a non-family member joins us. And the usual sleep disruption and not knowing what he wants except Boobie and lots of it......I can't even imagine what it must feel like to have four huge teeth piercing my gums.Bloody painful. The other morning Beau looked up at me in the bathroom after our morning shower and said "Mummy a beautiful Queen with Boobies" He can have just about anything he wants when that much cuteness comes around.

K has been through a period of doubt about having another baby. Some of his concerns have been his age and health; his job which is stable but which wouldn't support us if I stopped working my few but necessary shifts; debts; more sleep deprivation; non-existent sex-life/relationship time; less freedom to travel and study.....probably all the very normal anxieties of a 40 something year old Dad who still hasn't found job satisfaction and who has never left the country. I've tried on the whole only child prospect as a result. To be fair to K and to double check my own motives for having a another child. It's gotta be now or never really. Guy's can buy a whole lot more time at this age than us women. Does it sound really lame to say that I strongly feel like there's another little being waiting to come on in to our lives? I've considered the possibility of not being ABLE to conceive and that's a different matter. But there's the willingness to try, the openness to it, the idea of not one but two fantastic babes that leave us completely exhausted but completely enraptured and there's the companionship of siblings that I remember myself and that when all things adult were seeming oh so dull there was my brother to escape with to the record collection....

Truly if it came down to practicality I would be happy to sell this house and be debt free and move to a cheap house in the country and enjoy family life without it having to succumb to looming limitations of an economic nature. But I doubt it will be necessary (and maybe we'll do it anyway). I must say then that our calm conversation around the issue has given K the space to come to it on his own. Now we are mutually open again to that little being hovering around and it feels good, rich, natural, exciting, and still a bit scary.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Here, there and everywhere .

A week on from my little holiday and I am starting to get the Oh Dear I Do Miss the Land of My Birth Blues. I do believe that the flying of me over there and the degree of lovin' I received from friends and family was a meditated plan to have me return to Melbourne with the planted seed of desire to up-root my boys from our home of 5 years and gypsy it back to WA with her Indian ocean smells and big clear blue sky and lolling coastal train ride to increasingly gentrified but still so pretty and dear to my heart Fremantle. Oh west coast temptress with your quiet, unpretentious facade harboring creative potential and the promise of your fertile southern shores. I was determined not to come back romanticising you in any way. I had Eckhart Tolle on the MP3 player both legs of the plane journey - you'd think that his utterly inspiring advice on being always present right here right now would have permeated somehow. But alas my mind being what it is, despite odd moments of clarity and awareness, dips and dives between here and now and there and then and before and later!!
This is not to say that the joy of returning home was in any way depleted. Such bliss in my heart to see my boys crouched at the gate - Beau's delayed but beaming recognition of my return which carried on over the next few days through sweet happy exclamations of "Mummy home from aeroplane" (inferring that he thinks I've been up in the air all this time?) We have swung back into the routine that keeps our shared life sane and steady - that isn't always easy to bare when it costs our relationship time and energy but is still worth sticking up for when the mind goes a romancin' with the idea that 'everything will be better when...'. K and I are trying to practise presence in our lives so that the challenges of busy city lives as parents and partners and home owners do not undo us and we are grateful for the good people we have around us here. We talked last night about how we are feeling - about moving states, about having another child and the amazing one we've already been so fortunate to bring along. We have hit a stasis of sorts where my wish for a bigger family and to simplify and slow down are in the sort of contrast to K's wish for meaningful employment, travel, study and spiritual pilgrimage, that means we need to sit with it all and find out if we can do it all, and if only some of it - what will be let go of. K's wise last words of the evening were "let's not try to DO anything unless we are doing it from a relaxed, present. aware space". That's dead sexy talk that is! Lovely man. Excellent co pilot on this sometimes turbulent journey through time and space. Now I must sleep before I go analogy mad.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

40 is the new 30

My last day of holiday, still in Perth staying with Felicity who so lovingly flew me over there. I remember the day I met her when we were 18, at the Uni tavern. She was radiant, smiling and verbose and very chic in that Uni Student way in a hounds tooth jacket that was eventually worn by all of us girls at some time or another. We spent the weekend in the country at a wonderful stone lodge surrounded by hills and trees. 35 of us gathered on the second night - a group of friends who have known each other for 21 years and for me it was a rare and precious thing to see them all again and to meet their partners who felt to me to have been there all along. We were there to celebrate turning 40 which most of us are this year or reached last year. I had many moments of feeling on the outside - of suddenly not knowing what to do with myself - partly due to being there sans family ( who help to define me and distinguish me from who I was back then) and partly due to having been away from Perth for so long. But mostly I felt very comfortable with these people with whom I shared the transition into independent adulthood.

The tragedy of the weekend was that my camera has officially expired!!! It really is time to invest in a good one. A reliable one. Thankfully enough photos were taken by others. All the old photos from our first share house and beyond, where it all began, were on display the night of the party...We were so young and gorgeous and free and often quite drunk! I remember how much I loved those people. We were a great little community of 13 or so sharing time, food, philosophies, dance floors and sometimes beds... If any of you are reading this - I still love you all - you have retained your essence and gained partners, children, wisdom, and you can still command the dance floor as uniquely as you did in the 80's. Thank you so much for including me in the celebrations.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Well still no batteries in my camera.......Too busy enjoying the photos of fellow bloggers....
Had a week that felt like groundhog day every day, but with parts that revealed the bliss within routine. I look forward to some time away ( one week before I leave), to get to know myself again, and come home refreshed and recharged.
Beau and I are going to try playgroup after a spell away due to the biting which seems to have stopped (dare I wiggle joyously in my seat?)
We have been riding around in the frosty winter air feeling good and more fit each week. As K says "Now I know why all those people on bikes ride around with grins on their faces!"

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Where's the View?

I really must recharge the batteries in the camera........
and learn to knit,
and mend my favourite silk shirt,
and clean up the skanky kitchen,
...........ahh yes.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Time is going so fast - I mean it seems to HURTLE. IS it just me? I'm sure it has to do with the routine of our week that is repeated over and over. Suddenly it's Monday again and I'm about to do that Monday thing and it seems as though I only just did that!
I think we really need a holiday. Not just time off from work. One of those holidays that 'other people' have -where they book ahead and go somewhere very different form home and have a break! Feel the need to rest and play with my family.

In a couple of weeks I am going away by myself! Good gods I can almost not believe it and at times I wonder if I should (that's how long it's been since I did anything by myself!!) Off to Perth for a friend's 40th and to see family and some friends I haven't seen for almost 20 years!!!! I am excited of course I am. Mostly about the amount of sleep I will be able to have! Six days is just long enough to feel as though I've had a break, but not too long that I will start pining for my boys (we'll see). I love going back to the west. I feel connected to the place. Even though I haven't lived there for 10 years , it's still home. A kind of home. Really home is inside of me. when I'm feeling present I am there. When I was traveling in Europe in the early 90's I would often yearn for the physical home and the familiar, but when I was really present and relaxed and secure I would sense that home within and felt at home anywhere. Because I have moved around so much I find it easy to start again in a new place and make new friends and find a niche for myself. It's been harder to stay still and this is the longest I have stayed in the one place since I was 19. These six years in Melbourne have been good learning. Both K and I have moved through a lot of stuff - issues together and alone, found a spiritual path that supports us individually and as a couple, we've made friends who are like family and we have become parents. We've made blundering financial decisions and crawled our way out and we look at our lives now though still trying to make ends meet, we are paying for our own house, and we are active in our community and we feel loved and we love and we see how happy our son is and we think we can't be doing all that bad!

Saturday was a big mulching day. Bliss. It was truly. I am happiest when the days are not packed with outings and we have materials at home to beautify and create and Beau joyously tootling along beside us with his wheel barrow. I love friends dropping in for tea which is happening more often as friends move closer.

K has been a little down. "Midlife Crisis" he suggested on the weekend. He needs to find a 9 to 5 job that doesn't bore him senseless. And yes I/we believe they do exist. I am so fortunate because I have a fantastic job working for and with good friends where we laugh all the time and have stimulating conversations and sell goods over which I have no ethical dilemmas. The customers are diverse and interesting and I can ride to work from home. It's not a career move but then motherhood has simplified everything for me. I know what I need to do right now and it's challenging and stimulating and rewarding and it's what I've wanted to do for so long. I'm considering what to do when we have school aged kids but I'm not concerned about it. It's harder for the men so often because they spend so much more time away from the family and the home and so they have (understandably) greater expectations of their working lives. Not than one role is easier than the other. We are working towards being able to work from home and eventually moving to the country. We are doing OK in the here and now. More than OK. Just need to find K something he can enjoy 5 days a week. I think it was Barry Humphreys who said he decided he wouldn't do anything unless it was lots of fun!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Beyond the Cave

We haven't left our cave for a few days. It's's cold out there, and without a car there is less temptation to just go out for the hell of it. It's been a weekend of people coming in - we had our first co op food distribution on Saturday with about 8 households coming through to pick up their share and stay for some food. There were kids running about and adults telling each other their stories, noise mess and other signs of joyous social productivity.K and I have long wanted a community like this around us. It makes life in the suburbs so much easier to tolerate, knowing that just down the road live people who think like we do and are working towards common goals. We are all in the process of creating homes that are sustainable and natural and toxin free and as self sufficient as possible. We seem to also share a commitment to conscious parenting. I'm amazed at what each household has managed to do in a short period of time on limited incomes, and our own achievements are in turn reflected back to us which is really helpful especially when one starts to moan about not having been able to do ANYTHING because of blah blah blah. The whole community thing confronts me enormously too. I know it's everything to do with the dysfunctions of early family life that I fear unrealistic expectations of large groups of people and have tended to get caught up in trying to please everyone which is utterly exhausting. But I want so much to have a sense of family and community that is supportive and authentic and able to weather all of our individual projections.
Since moving to Melbourne (from Byron Bay???!! the time I thought we'd gone mad!!!) I've really understood how it is possible to feel isolated in a big city. Over these 6 years we have met many wonderful people, some of whom have moved away. some closer, some friendships changed and still new ones forming. But we are all caught up in the daily task of survival and whilst probably by no means to the degree of the average working home owner/parent it's still a challenge to stand still long enough to connect with the world outside. It requires effort. K and I are trying not to pack our lives too full but still we seem to be busy???? Thank the gods for the days I spend with Beau in our little cave, drawing and singing and counting cars and people from the lounge room window, drinking tea with visitors and venturing no further than our own back garden.
Speaking of which, a friend was walking home from our house yesterday and saw a guy cutting and mulching pine trees. We now have a god-almighty pile of it in our driveway - big beautiful steaming pile of mulch for our muddy garden, plus next year's supply of fire wood! Thank you neighbour!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Wild without and calm within

What a wild day. Wild wind. Rain. Love having an excuse to stay inside all day. Beau sleeps as does the child of a friend who is with us today. A peaceful spell to be with myself and eat the chocolate I hid this morning. I'm going to make Beau a doll - a Steiner Doll for which I have instructions. It occurred to me how quickly gender differentiation's starts - how Beau has ended up with so many trucks and cars and animals and no dolls. All the daughters of my friends have had dolls for a long time. I would love to see Beau connect with a doll and have a sense of that caring nature that girls are encouraged to have in their play from so early on. A friend who runs a Steiner Playgroup says that a doll is also special for a child because when the parent is absent the child cares for the doll and in turn feels the parent's nurture through the doll. I thought this was a great explanation;

"A waldorf dollmaker breathes life into each creation by slowly and lovingly sewing a body for its spirit to come into. These dolls are not just stitched together; they are 'born'. Something of the maker's own self goes into each individual doll; therefore it would be ideal for parents to make all their own children's dolls and toys. The next best thing is to have a doll custom-made for a particular child, and for the dollmaker to endow that doll as much as possible with the personality and colouring of the child.

Seeing that the doll is the child's 'alter ego', through which he or she can express his/her deepest feelings, they are not only for girls, but for boys too! I have made many dolls for little boys whose mothers tell me, years later, that their son still plays with that doll and that it is his favourite toy."

Victoria Robertson, Waldorf Doll maker Dunsborough WA

We've been having one of those weeks where everything is going so smoothly - Beau is happy and relaxed and easy going.....and I say it's all due to routine, to the blissfully predictable rhythm of a day and week that a 2 and a bit year old can count on. Our days are more relaxed, more productive, more creative and filled with much more laughter when we follow the rhythms that support our otherwise busy life. The changes that come with having no car are varied and while we often aren't home as early, being car-less has forced us to take our time, be more organised when we need to go out and do things and to just let it all go when it looks like we've missed a bus or the weather is too wild or we are too tired to ride. It has made me realise how much we would normally try to pack into a day/ a week and how much harder it is on Beau to be bustled out of the house and into the car and driven around on errands. He is truly so much happier when he gets to spend most of his time at home (still with visits to the park and friends) and so for that matter am I! There's more time for drawing and singing songs and dancing and looking out the window at the world going by. Being a mother is of course the most enormous and challenging commitment I've ever undertaken but it's taught me so much about relaxing and letting go which is very fortunate considering there is little time for formal meditation practice. One of the main principals of Dzogchen practice is to not separate practice from daily life - that it is daily life. Recognising and integrating our natural state of pure presence and awareness amidst the chaos of our daily lives is real enlightenment. I have kept this perfect quote from Dilgo Kyentse Rinpoche for a long time :

"The everyday practice is simply to develop a complete acceptance and openness to all situations and emotions, and to all people, experiencing everything totally without mental reservations and blockages, so that one never withdraws or centralizes into oneself.

This produces a tremendous energy which usually is locked up in the process of mental evasion and a general running away from life experiences.

Clarity of awareness may, in its initial stages, be unpleasant or fear-inspiring; if so, then one should open oneself completely to the pain or the fear and welcome it. In this way the barriers created by one's own habitual emotional reactions and prejudices are broken down.....

......The everyday practice is just ordinary is life itself. Since the underdeveloped state does not exist there is no need to behave in any special way or try to attain or practice anything.

There should be no need of striving to reach some exalted goal or higher state; this simply produces something conditional or artificial that will act as an obstruction to the free flow of the mind. One should never think of oneself as "sinful" or worthless, but as naturally pure and perfect, lacking nothing."

It's the same message for me within Skeleton Woman story. It's so perfectly simple and yet utterly challenging all at the same time!!!! But NEVER boring!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Ducks where are you?

Aaahhhh those eyes. Precious boy. Today as K and I were riding our bikes back from Bundoora Children's Farm (wonderful place) in the blissful autumn sun with Beau in his seat on my bike, we coasted along the creek-side cycle path, past the long reeds rustling in the wind. Beau called out "DUCKS WHERE ARE YOU" I had such a moment. He's nearly two and a half and is talking more and more, but there was something in that was just such a normal sentence, something a child would say.....but the first of it's kind for Beau, and it was a moment for me realising he isn't a baby anymore. Now he's a boy, a kid, a little talking thinking person, my mate, my fellow seeker of duck life, my Guru, my mirror.

Corners of my home and my mind.

Our little home. It is a slow work in progress but it is light filled and warm and cosy. It is the perfect blank canvas. There are corners I love and corners that have been transformed like this one by simply having bought an op shop couch and covering it with red that catches the afternoon sun. A place to read and cuddle and watch the world go by the front window.

Our choir is revising a Rachmaninoff piece called Bogorditsye Dyevo - a beautiful 4 part song.....I have it constantly in my head at the moment. So many divine pieces of music/songs have been written and played....
It's a pleasure to be singing with a group of like-minded people and a real challenge for me to be there as a singing leader. I was thinking not so long ago about the length of time music has been a part of my life. Mum taught me to play piano when I was 6 or 34 years now and perhaps I'm only just really finding my feet with it. All the fear and moving in and out of musical connections and still no matter where I am it will find me even if I'm not looking for it. I'm very happy that Music cares for me enough to go the long haul with me. I think I've come a little further to be able to make reciprocal commitment!

Friday, May 25, 2007

The Spiritual and the Material

In my first post I said I would upload a picture of the painting I have been working on (forever!!) This is White Tara.
This link has a good description of the Buddhist deity. I spent a good deal of time meditating and painting Tara throughout my pregnancy and I felt her presence at Beau's home birth. This painting is for one of our midwives and sadly she has been waiting for almost 2 and a half years!! I WILL finish it by the end of this year.
And on a far more material level and almost as devotional - my love of a well made, woolen retro skirt. The one above I found at a little op shop around the corner from our house (often I find fantastic hand knitted woolen jumpers for Beau too), and the one below was a Camberwell Market purchase last winter.
It was all those years of Scooby Doo as a child - Daphne's dress sense has definitely influenced me!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Accidental Art

We painted this fibro wall at the back of our garden with left over watery dregs from the roller tray having painted our east wall in lime wash. I love that despite how motley it is, is looks wonderful next to the rusty red iron. Just having that colour against the green veges....The garden is looking quite neglected at present and in dire need of mulching. The glorious rain did come and turn our back yard into a mud pit. Soon we will put gravel down for a pergola, and build a chook pen in the back corner (our garden converges into a point at the north east it) and lay sawdust paths around the vege circles and move the back fence and and and .....
Beau loves to be out in the garden looking for bugs under bricks and chasing the cat....I look forward to it being a space that we can spend endless hours in whatever the season.
We had a 'circle' on the weekend with two couples, great friends with whom we needed to discuss the whole biting issue. IT was a wonderful thing to do - meet without the kids and have a couple of hours for each of us to talk about how we feel and what we would like to do about it. It wasn't easy either. I have had a lot of fear of judgment and I felt very vulnerable and nervous as I spoke. But it was a supportive space and we all felt very fortunate to be able to do something like that with each other. I think I'll be more able to relax and not take other parents' reactions so personally if their children are bitten and I also got to ask for more support when we are socialising with our children/ having play dates. K and I have found it really inspiring and reassuring to find Louise Porter's advice on guiding children's behaviour without punishment and reward. She has written a book called 'Children are People Too'.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Lazy Bones?

Well I know that's not the case really. How can a mother of a toddler who works 17 hours a week outside the home and runs a choir and a household possibly be considered lazy except by her deluded self???????? I tell you I do feel guilty when I sit down to watch an episode of the Sopranos and imagine all those dedicated women who instead grab any moment they can to sequester themselves away in crafting solitude. And seriously the Sopranos is entertaining but I'm almost over IS violent despite it's intriguing character development...
I was looking at Beau's plastic (eekk!!) animal collection and remembered seeing the mama pig and piglets my friend M knitted!!!! for her boys and how my heart yearns for Beau to be surrounded by things that reflect care and imagination and beauty. We're doing pretty well for our circumstances. Oh that there were more hours in a day.
our first official car-less week. Feels fine. Feels good. I feel good and I do think I will sleep a whole lot better with all this physical activity.I may even have enough energy to craft into the wee hours now and then.